Britain’s biggest airline offloads passengers, leaving them relieved. EasyJet’s Glasgow-Luton service rejected at least 30 people last Sunday afternoon, 18 June, which led that plane to take off without passengers.

Permission?

The airline claims it had asked for volunteers to travel on a later departure, dismissing remarks and claims by passengers that they rejected and offloaded before they even arrive at the airport.

The flight was easyJet 74, which scheduled to fly from Glasgow to Luton on Sunday afternoon, 18 June. Apparently, the Airbus A320 plane planned to operate the flight was replaced with a smaller A319 plane, with 30 fewer seats. “As a result of this some passengers were unfortunately unable to travel on the flight,” said a spokesperson for easyJet.

Joe Bond, from Brighton, was among a 12-people group who were booked on the scheduled, was at the scene.

“As the queue formed, my name, and those of my girlfriend, cousin and a few other people, were announced on the public address system and told that the plane had been downgraded and we would not be allowed to board.” he said.

“The rest of my family was in the queue and many people looked on at us bewildered. We were told they couldn’t let us know earlier because of the way we had checked in, and that the way we had checked in was the reason we had been selected.”

EasyJet has told The Independent that, in case a passenger was denied boarding, the last passenger to be booked will be turned away.

Mr Bond said: “At no time were we or anyone else asked to volunteer to take a later flight. On the plane my stepfather spoke to other passengers who said they were unaware that anyone else had been asked to volunteer their seats.”

His stepfather said: “I checked with the whole family, and the girl next to me and the couple behind me. No one was asked. But one passenger had been told that people would not be flying, but that they were all right!”

Statements

The airline believe that the family’s claims are false. A spokesperson said: “We asked for volunteers to offload at bag drop and at the gate in return for compensation.”

It then became clear that there were still empty seats on the plane. Mr Bond said: “I repeatedly and politely asked the staff to put my cousin on the plane at least.”

The staff, however, turned the request down, and the plane took off with two empty seats.

Notably, if an airline offloads passengers against their consent, the company informs them of their full rights to compensation, to re-book them on the next flight available and to pay.